Break-In

For Trisha.

Prison walls couldn’t keep her in, and they certainly wouldn’t keep her out.

The prison, an imposing, dank, stone-walled structure, was supposed to be impenetrable, but to her, it was positively medieval. No cameras or motion sensors, just guards, dogs and big shiny lights. She looked at the wall for a minute, gave it a little push, just as a joke, and then stepped back to get a running start.

Her first assailant was a giant dog with a mouth flecked with saliva. Midway through her jump over the wall, she turned and smashed its face into the ground with her knee.

Prison guards everywhere. She kept to the shadows. A swift kick to the face, a jab through the eyes, the side of her palm into a throat, and every twist and turn on her way in was dealt with.

The cell she wanted to get to was flanked by two special guards, both with their hands clasped in front of them and their chins jutting out, like bouncers at a club.

She crouched and shot forwards towards one, slamming her fingers into his throat, and, when he opened his mouth, punched his teeth in. She elbowed the other one into the wall and kicked him in the balls as he clutched his head. The two guards now lay writhing on the floor beside her.

She looked at the occupant of the cell, an old man with many teeth missing and as many hair as he had teeth left.

“Hey, dad,” she said. “I was with sis in the last one. She said to tell you grandma’s fine, and Laura had her baby. It’s a girl. They’re naming her Sandy. How’s it going with you?”

The old man smiled. “Oh, same old, same old. Food still sucks. Tell your mum to get her special pasta next time she comes. Mike’s in the Riverview facility. I’ll tell him about Sandy. How’s Johnny? Haven’t seen him in a while.”